Samoa - Gifts of Providence during COVID-19
It is one month since the declaration of “State of emergency” was put into effect. Our storerooms started to be empty as well as our purse. We decided to ask the media to help us. An appointment with TV1 was fixed for 20th April and we made an appeal for help to the public. At 11.30 p.m. we received a few calls which expressed concern for the needs of our Home, as seen on TV or Face book. Next morning there started a moving and exciting experience of God’s loving Providence. We would like to use three words to describe it: Wonderful, beautiful and grateful.
It was wonderful: Early in the morning people started to call us and ask what we needed the most! At 8 a.m., the procession of gifts commenced. Cars arrived one after the other loaded with all kind of items, at the same time the phone was ringing. Boxes of meats, bags of rice, noodles, fruits, vegetables, as well as household articles, cleaning items and laundry soap, toilet papers, liquid hand soap, sanitizers, masks, gloves etc. brought by people from different walks of life.
Red Cross had sent us one hundred cartons (24 bottles per carton) of New Zealand Spring Water! Some had asked us to go to pick up the donation in their offices. Some brought the donations directly to the home; some sent their money directly to our bank from overseas. We were so busy that we had no time for our meals. It was unbelievable that the people were so prompt, enthusiastic and generous to respond to our appeal, is it wonderful?
It was beautiful: Our donors were from different social backgrounds, from the Head of State, Government Officers, business people, workers, housewives to the little children. A lady of 10 children came to give us $50 and a few tins of food in a shopping bag that made us remember the beautiful story of the “widow’s mite.” A mother came with 5 children, each of them carried an item for the home with a happy smile. What a beautiful way to educate the children! A man drove a lorry loaded with bananas, taro, and boxes of meat, noodles and milk; when we asked the donor’s name, he gave us a mysterious smile and said: “Jesus”. So when he left us, we said to him: “thank you Jesus, good-bye Jesus”. A gentleman came to the reception and gave Sister $1,000 and refused to give his name, and went away smiling. Paper was short for writing down many other beautiful stories. However, from our donors, we discovered the beauty of the human heart.
We were very grateful: first to God’s Fatherly care for us, His Providence was so visible and tangible. Then we were grateful to all who had helped us in one way or the other. Just within these two days, our storerooms were filled to capacity, and the donations we received were more than one month’s collecting. May God reward them a hundred fold, keep them from all harm, and shower upon them abundant graces.
Samoa is not a rich country, but the Samoans are rich in God’s love, generous in sharing, their happy and loveable smiles reflect their inner beauty and goodness.
‘Blessed be God, Thank you my God’ (Jeanne Jugan)